Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Oscars deconstruct the great American cowboy -- and destroy their own great industry

By Aussiegirl

Well, I admit it -- I wasn't going to watch, but a certain kind of morbid curiosity made me tune in to the Oscars last night. I kept one eye on it on the little telly I keep in the corner to keep track of "breaking news" -- usually the latest beauty gone missing of course, but that's a subject for another post.

My impressions were that Stewart skewered the pretensions of Hollywood and the audience was probably not too receptive to that. The entire affair seemed to suffer a kind of terminal tedium that is indicative of a moribund culture -- the whole sense was one of a dead society going through the motions without even a clue that they are already dead and irrelevant.

Where were the glamorous stars we would tune in to see in the old days? Those beautiful and handsome faces that seemed almost like old friends. The impossibly masculine and handsome men -- the breathtakingly beautiful and highly individual women? Gone with the winds of time, my friends, and in their place are clueless imposters, who having despoiled and ruined the great legacy they were handed, try to lamely applaud themselves for having destroyed the very thing that they inherited.

Having defamed Western Civilization with their trivial and decadent movies, they now have stooped to besmirching the great legacy and history of their own formerly great industry. The revolution always eats its own -- and the Hollywood crowd last night, having devoured and regurgitated the great past they were bequeathed, are left with nothing but stale leftovers and tasteless imitations.

What really offended me was the "gay cowboy" montage. It's not enough that "Brokeback Mountain" has now permanently tainted the image of the western cowboy -- who can hear that word now without thinking "gay" and seeing two lovesick cowpokes (sheep-pokes?) cuddling by the campfire? But Hollywood had to take it a step further and befoul its own legacy by besmirching the great Hollywood movies and stars of yesteryear -- the cowboy -- the quintessential American hero, beloved not only here but across the globe and long the symbol of America. America never had a better ambassador to the world than the stalwart Hollywood cowboy -- brave, courteous, honest, decent and above all -- manly.

Now Hollywood tells us it was all a lie -- and snickers at its own great history and whispers -- if you look carefully, all those movies were "homoerotic". Don't you feel stupid now, they seem to say? John Wayne was not a great American hero, he was probably a closeted gay guy who secretly lusted after his buddies (and maybe even his horse), and hid his secret under a mantle of hyper-masculinity. Ah yes, we've heard it all before.

The "deconstruction" of the cowboy -- the greatest American hero. Sad -- and corrosively subtle. The message is -- it was all a fraud -- even the stuff Hollywood of yesteryear told you. There are no real men -- there are no real heroes.

And Hollywood is the worst ambassador we have today -- and a large reason why America is hated across the world.

Memo to Jon Stewart: Keep Your 'Daily' Job

Crash" was not only the film chosen Best Picture at the 78th Academy Awards last night; it was also the sound made by the show itself as, metaphorically speaking, it drove into a wall.

It's hard to believe that professional entertainers could have put together a show less entertaining than this year's Oscars, hosted with a smug humorlessness by comic Jon Stewart, a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by.


At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the industry has become evil and evil will always attempt to pull down that which is good. Evil too strong a word? No, I beleive most movies have become quite toxic in the ways subtle and unsubtle they try to pull down all that's good. Because the old movies had a lot of good in them, they shine a light on that which is dark, and darkness can't stand light.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Reagan was thought of as a cowboy, and, of course, Bush is a rancher. I`m sure Hollywood is delighted with the joke...

At 9:59 PM, Blogger TJW said...

Aussiegirl you are a very brave lady, I just couldn’t force myself to watch a single minute of this year’s installment of the Hollywood love thyself extravaganza. I have to agree with Ben Stein yet again, when he put it this way.(I think this is the beginning of a trend with me)

“They live in dreamland and cannot be gracious enough to thank the men and women who pay with their lives for the stars' ability to live in dreamland. This is shameful. No doubt the men and women who came to the Oscars in gowns that cost more than an Army Sergeant makes in a year, in limousines with champagne in the back seat, think they are working class heroes to attack America -- which has made it all possible for them”--- “this is pathetic, childish narcissism.”

Rather than endure watching the ungrateful modern successors to the golden age of movies risk a rotator cuff injury patting themselves on the back, I popped in a DVD made in the time when movies were interesting and entertaining and had a much more enjoyable evening. Having read the novel “the Eagle has landed” a few weeks ago, I wanted to see how well the novel was followed. Though this film wouldn’t have won “best anything” from the academy, it was a compelling story that suffered from none of the pretense or historical deconstruction so favored by filmmakers today.

There were no gay soldiers, Winston Churchill wasn’t having a secret affair when the fatal shot was fired, there were also no self-serving anti-war protestor marching across the English countryside throughout the movie. No one sobbed in confusion wondering why the Nazi’s hated us, while secretly working to undermine the British governments effort to defeat the evil that was perched just across the channel. The bad guys were nasty, though Michael Caine and his merry band of German paratroopers occupied a bit of a grey area. The good guys were good, even though they were at first a bit inept they recovered brilliantly and nearly saved the day, more than once.

Hollywood stopped making movies that had this kind of entertainment value long ago and opted to push the edge of the envelope ever farther. They have gone beyond indecency, left good intelligent writing by the wayside, and trampled on the legacy of those who captured the attention of the American people for decades and taught us to love going to the movies. It’s little wonder that ticket sales are still plummeting and the celebration of the Oscars is declining right along with them.

Looking on the bright side, there are only 363 days before we have to do it all over again!


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